Fifty years ago the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) delivered a report titled Sources, Abundance, and Fate of Gaseous Atmospheric Polluters to the American Petroleum Institute (API) – a trade association for the fossil fuel industry.
The report – unearthed by researchers at the Center for International Environmental Law – is one of the earliest attempts by the industry to grapple with the impacts of rising CO2 levels – which Stanford’s researchers warned if left unabated ‘could bring about climatic changes’ like temperature increases – melting of ice caps and sea level rise.
The year was 1968 and the term “global warming” would not appear in a peer-reviewed academic journal until 1975.
Famed Nasa scientist James Hansen would not testify before Congress that ‘global warming has begun’ for another 20 years.
And the US would not enter into – only to later pull out of – the Paris climate accord for nearly half a century.